Mar 13, 2008

He: Sous Vide pictures

For anyone that is keeping track of things based on the dates that are posted at the top of the posts...get over it. Sure, I've taken a lot longer than I said I would to put up pictures...what can I say? I'm a king at procrastination...even when it's something that I like.
This first image is the bag of chicken and the seasoning, and the thermometer. The thing that I want everyone to see is the temperature on the thermometer (which is right around 120 degrees). This is lower than the final cooking temperature that was reached several hours later, but important to see nontheless.

The second image is of the bones at the end of the cooking of the chicken. I wanted you to see this to illustrate a principle that happens in meat that everyone takes as law. Chicken meat that is still red is not necessarily undercooked. According to my favorite food scientist/chemist/god to all chefs Harold McGee, 'When meat is heated quickly, its temperature rises quickly, and some of the muscle proteins are still unfolding and denaturing when the pigments begin to do the same. The other proteins are therefore able to react with the pigments and turn them brown. But when meat is heated slowly, so that it takes an hour or two to reach the denaturing temperature for myoglobin and cytochromes, the other proteins finish denaturing first, and react with each other. By the time that the pigments become vulnerable, there are few other proteins left to react with them, so they stay intact and the meat stays red'. Basically what he is saying is that since the myoglobin(the particle in meat that has the color) breaks down so slowly the color never has a chance to react before the molecules that it will react with will already be denatured and unable to cause a reaction to change myoglobin from red to brown. This accomplishment can also be done chemically through sodium nitrite (the salt used to cure meats like bacon), or through normal table salt (if it has enough time in contact with the raw meat). Therefore, with this very slow cooking method that I have presented here, since the meat is raised to a temperature that will kill all errant microbes very, very slowly the myoglobin never has the appropriate proteins to react with to break down.
Oh, to answer the question that was asked about the website of the food chemist that explains how to do sous vide at home it's: